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On the edge of habitability and the extremes of liquidity
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Yale University, USA.
Number of Authors: 3
2014 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 98, 169-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The physical and biological mechanisms that extend the equilibrium domain of liquid water into the ice region of the bulk phase diagram are examined in view of their importance for the enhancement of planetary habitability. The physical phenomena studied are the premelting of ice, which allows for films of liquid water at temperatures well below freezing, and the wetting of hygroscopic salts with the persistence of briny films even for thermodynamic conditions remote from those of bulk liquid water. Organisms are known to produce a variety of frost-suppressing substances, one of which, the anti-freeze protein, is described here. In this article, we provide a synthesis of theoretical and experimental studies whilst extending ideas into new territory as we address the question of habitability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 98, 169-181 p.
Keyword [en]
Premelting of ice, Deliquescence, Brines, Antifreeze proteins, Extremophiles, Planetary habitability
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106743DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2013.04.010ISI: 000339129400015OAI: diva2:739100


Available from: 2014-08-20 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2014-08-20Bibliographically approved

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